MSc Advanced Policing

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Part-time (2 years)

Start date(s)

September 2019

Tuition fees 19/20
Home (full-time, per year): £6,600
Home (per credit): £36.65
International (full-time, per year): £13,950

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

Arts, Professional and Social Studies:

0151 231 5175

International admissions

+44(0)151 904 6499

Got a question?

Apply direct Event registration

About this course

Advanced Policing develops the skills increasingly required by forces and law enforcement agencies as policing moves further towards an evidence-based approach.

  • Address the quantitative research skills gap identified in policing
  • Build evidence-based learning skills
  • Look forward to excellent career opportunities in supervision, neighbourhood policing and analysis
  • Benefit from this valuable foundation for progression to PhD

Ideal for serving police officers and those yet to embark on their career, this new programme has been designed to fill the skills gap in quantitative research identified in policing. You will benefit from training in research skills and given the opportunity to carry out a dissertation in an area of specialist interest. ​The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies has significant expertise in the Policing sector and can thus provide supervision in a wide range of topics. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary methodologies. Our Policing Studies qualifications are focused on developing the professionalisation agenda for policing and we work with the professional body, the College of Policing, as well as local policing organisations to ensure the relevance, credibility, and currency of its courses.

Our particular areas of strength include:

  • transnational and public order policing
  • serious organised crime
  • victimology and domestic violence


  • terrorism and counter-terrorism
  • intelligence-led policing
  • human trafficking

The programme is specifically designed to address the skills gap identified by the police service in relation to quantitative research. Taught by lecturers with scholarly and professional backgrounds in policing and research, you will explore and engage with policing debates at national, international and transnational level. You will also be part of the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies, a leading research centre devoted to supporting the needs of 21st century policing.


Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to use your own)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)

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  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2017) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

This programme prepares you for further study, employment or new roles in your current profession.

Policing and other related public sector fields currently suffer a skills gap in relation to quantitative research so there are opportunities for employment or career progression for those with these skills. The programme teaches the advanced skills of research, conceptualisation, analysis and argument, and presentation. These are highly valued in many areas of employment.

Those who demonstrate appropriate levels of application and achievement will be encouraged to progress to PhD level. This MSc plays an important development role in this process.

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On completion of your MSc, you may consider a career in the police service or in areas connected to investigation, security or criminal justice e.g. the armed services, prison service, social work or criminal justice-related roles within the Civil Service. If you are already in employment, the MSc will prepare you to specialise in your area of interest.

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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Core Modules

Policing in Context
20 credits

This module introduces you to different perspectives that relate to policing and provide an opportunity to critically explore the range of regulatory processes, professional values and ethics that inform practice. It provides an insight into current policing, community safety and criminal justice priorities and

  • allows you to explore emerging debates relating to policing, community safety and criminal justice
  • gives you an overview of a variety of diverse policing perspectives

Advanced Research Skills
20 credits

This module aims to prepare you for the dissertation in semester three by introducing key epistemological and methodological issues that impact on research into crime, security, community safety and criminal justice. While exploring the politics and practice of research in these areas, the module will introduce research theories and methods.

Evidence Informed Policy and Practice
20 credits

This module aims to develop your critical appreciation and understanding of the capacity of evidence-based research to contribute to practice developments in policing and criminal justice. It:

  • allows you to examine the contributions of research-informed knowledge 
  • encourages you to think critically about the scope to extend further the role of evidence-based thinking in developing problem-solving solutions in policing and criminal justice

Governance and Accountability
20 credits

This module explores emerging debates relating to police governance and accountablity and how this discourse impacts on practice within operational spheres. The aim of the module is to examine legal, professional and political aspects of the governance structures that ensure an accountable police service.

20 credits

This module aims to examine leadership as a theoretical concept and interpret different perspectives in terms of personal leadership in various settings and environments.

20 credits

This module explores emerging debates relating to ethics and how this discourse impacts on practice within operational spheres.

Dissertation - Policing
60 credits

The aim of the dissertation module is to develop your ability to analyse and interpret an issue in your chosen field. You will draw on a relevant body of knowledge, collecting data and completing a piece of writing in a manner conforming to the tenets of disciplined, lucid and critical scholarship.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Teaching takes place predominantly on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 

Teaching methods

Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars - all of which you are expected to attend. The Centre for Advanced Policing Studies regularly holds professionally focused masterclasses, giving students opportunities to hear from front line professionals across a variety of sectors. You will need to participate in online activities and discussions using our virtual learning environment, Canvas.

Your tutors have a wide range of practical and academic policing-related experiences and are actively engaged in research, exploring innovative topics in policing, criminal justice and research. All of this experience and knowledge feeds directly into original and thought-provoking material for all the Policing Studies programmes taught in the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies.

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The team is committed to ensuring you get the most out of your learning experience. They are available at set office times to meet you for one-to-one consultations to discuss course-related issues.

You will have a dedicated supervisor offering expert knowledge, guidance and support as you complete your dissertation.

Feedback will be available on the 15th working day after the submission date for a piece of work. That's because we believe that timely and constructive feedback is vital in helping you identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to develop further.

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How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

Assessment methods on this programme include: academic essays; annotated bibliographies; reflective research exercises; position papers; exams; reports; case studies; portfolios; online blogs and wikis; workplace practice; posters; oral presentations (individual and group); debates; reviews; group work and the dissertation/research project.

You will normally receive extensive written feedback on your assessments, and occasional verbal feedback. All feedback is designed to help you achieve your full potential and get the most out of your studies, so staff will be available to discuss it with you and direct you to further support if you feel you need it.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Ian Whitfield

Ian Whitfield

Senior lecturer 

An experienced former Merseyside police officer who also served in various overseas locations on operational, training and advisory missions, Ian’s operational experience is largely in the command of critical incidents, firearms and public order operations. He has extensive experience in policing large scale crowd events.

Ian’s research interests include the sociology, psychology and policing of collective action and crowds in multiple contexts.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Based within the John Foster Building, in the Mount Pleasant Campus, the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies School features well-equipped IT Suites, a light-filled Student Common Room and dedicated postgraduate study areas. The Centre has a dedicated crime scene investigation suite, interview rooms and students have access to a range of forensics facilities based in the University's Byrom Street campus. At the back of the John Foster Building is the Aldham Robarts Library, which gives access to an exceptional range of materials to support your studies.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a minimum 2:2 in Policing, Criminology, Criminal Justice or a related subject


  • equivalent appropriate experience

Additional information

  • IELTS 6.5 (Minimum 5.5 in each component)
  • Pearson 58-64 (minimum 51 in each component for UKVI purposes)
  • RPL is accepted on this programme

If you have any specific queries, please contact

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

Along with your completed LJMU online application form you should submit your academic transcript (or equivalent) and an academic reference.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.